Focus – What If?
By Lt. Colonel Mervyn Morelock –
What happens when we do not pray? Recently, after previewing a new video, “The Power of Prayer,” I began to think about prayer. The video gave many helpful ideas about how to pray, the powerful results of prayer, and several comments that affirmed that “prayer is our relationship with God.”
One speaker talked about the prayers we did not pray. He said, “Something happens when I pray that does not happen if I don’t. Therefore, if I have failed to pray today something has gone undone in God’s Kingdom Plan for my life and for those who would have been touched through my prayers.” The problem is, we do not ask!
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Matt 7:7
Have you ever wondered how many times God has been poised, ready to give you a blessing…and you did not ask? What if you had prayed all the prayers you should have? Would your life have been any different if you HAD prayed and brought to him everything? Would the lives of others have been touched because you prayed for them?
“But in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” Phil 4:6
There are many wonderful examples in the Bible that reveal that God wants to answer our prayers and many times he has given answers to prayers that even exceeded the petition!
Solomon asked for wisdom; the answer included wisdom, riches, honor, and long life.
The disciples prayed for Peter; the answer included Peter’s deliverance.
Martha and Mary asked Jesus to come and heal their brother Lazarus; Jesus delayed, but raised Lazarus from the dead.
Paul asked that the “thorn in the flesh” be removed; the answer was a promise of grace to endure it.
Most of us do not pray enough. When we do pray it is often a short, perfunctory prayer, just to get on with the real business at hand.
I am sometimes a little annoyed when a group has been seated for a meal, and one person will put up an index finger. The last one who raises his finger is “it.” They have been “caught” and have to ask the table grace. I think that the table blessing should be a sacred moment of communion. Of the sacraments, this is the one that Salvationists can observe three times a day, not just on Sunday. So, I do not put my finger in the air and am nearly always “caught.” I usually tell the folks that since I am still on speaking terms with the Lord that I will be glad to offer the table prayer. I hope I do not appear too sanctimonious, it’s just that prayer, even the table grace prayer, ought to be a privilege and another chance to commune with our Heavenly Father. I have wondered what the non-Christian or the new Christian thinks about the antics of those who do not want to get “caught” to pray?
It is said that Mother Teresa spent several hours each day, early in the morning, in quiet prayer before God. In the crowded streets of India, she carried herself with a quiet dignity and continued in the spirit of prayer. She once said that she was like the stub of a pencil and that God was using her life to write his love and compassion for the poor and dying.
What if every day of our lives was spent in communion with God? Would the words we say, the places we go, the movies and TV we watch, be different?
God has many treasures in heaven for us. They are all up there ready for us, waiting for us to ask. What if today we were to resolve to bring before God, in a constant flow of prayer, our love for him, our need of his power, the daily needs of our family, and our personal Christian journey. What if?